You’ve all heard that bankers are dreadful people, right?
Strutting around as they quaff quails’ eggs and wipe their mouths with reams of five pound notes, they burrow your cash away for themselves before claiming that it was lost in a poor investment.
Nah, not really.
In reality, if you push past the media furore, most people in the finance industry are just trying to do an honest job. But, what has happened over the past few years is that the job of the banker to resuscitate the economy has worked by being extremely wary of investments and loans.
It’s left business owners with seemingly few avenues to travel down, and has helped foster an image of financiers as money hoarders.
But, there are advantages to this reticence from banks to loan money to potentially risky propositions.
As banks have shut their doors, a number of alternatives have opened up for businesses looking for cash. In many instances, it’s led to bank loans becoming the last port of call for many companies, as they try their hand at an increasingly diverse range of opportunities.
So, what options are available for the business on the hunt for alternative finance?
Invoice discounting is one of those business propositions that is ideal for hard-up companies.
Essentially, your business hands over its invoices to a lender, which will then give you around 80 per cent of their worth up front, allowing you to pay the money back as the receipts are settled.
While it’s an option that’s more suited to well-established businesses, it could mean the difference between your business thriving or sinking during a bad patch.
Give your business a kick start with crowdfunding
Crowdfunding is a fundraising venture in its infancy but, with a number of high-profile business ventures hitting the stratosphere after using it, it’s become one of the more famous fundraising platforms.
Mainly used for creative projects, crowdfunding is where a company puts their project online in the hope of securing donations from interested customers. It’s led to something of a meritocracy in funding, with the most interesting projects sometimes earning millions of pounds, while poor ideas fade away at the bottom of the pile.
The only real problem with crowdfunding is that if you fail to reach your goal, that failure is automatically in the public domain, potentially damaging your brand. So, keep your targets realistic and you might just become a crowd-pleaser.
Get the government in on the job
The government is willing to lend a hand to businesses if they think that it’ll inject some life into the economy. With a host of grants available, a business with the right remit will find it easy to find a financial foot-up from a government body.
And, if you can’t crack a government grant right away, don’t worry – there are always new government schemes just around the corner to stimulate a new section of the economy. The government even offers a finance finder tool online to help you search for the ideal business grant for your company.